CANNONS ROAR, WE FIGHT FOR TIME,
WE LOOK FOR SHIPS, BUT SEE NO SIGN.
THE WOUNDED BLEED, LIFE SLIPS AWAY
THESE BRAVE YOUNG MEN, ARE HERE TO STAY
THE FLAG IS DOWN, OUR EYES HAVE TEARS,
THE GENERAL SIGNS, SILENCE HE HEARS.
WE MOVE ACROSS, THE LAND THAT FELL,
AND START OUR MARCH, OUR MARCH THROUGH HELL.
NOW DEATH AWAITS, ALONG THE WAY,
OUR ONLY HOPE, OUR GOD WE PRAY.
THE WEAK AND SICK, WILL SOON BE STILL,
THEY FEEL A CLUB AND A BLADE OF STEEL.
WE MUST GO ON, THERE IS NO SLEEP,
THE DEAD NOW STILL, NO MORE THEY WEEP.
WE LIVE, WE PRAY FOR THOSE THAT FELL,
NO MORE THEY PAIN, THEY’VE SEEN THEIR HELL.
ACCEPT THEM LORD, WITH ALL YOUR LVOE,
AND PRAY FOR US, FROM FAR ABOVE.
THESE SCARS WE BARE, WILL NEVER FADE.
WE’LL NOT FORGET THE PRICE THEY PAID.
By Frank Tiscareno
The Bataan Memorial Death March is upon us. Day after tomorrow, the girls and I head down to White Sands, New Mexico where we will listen to lectures on The First Battle of the Philippines, talk with family members of the soldiers who fought there, and meet the survivors of the horrible, horrible event. This is a dream come true. And the excitement must be high because I'm beginning to lose sleep over it. In a good way.
One of the great discoveries of the last year, in relation to my uncle, was meeting Mr. Long, one of the veterans who attends the monthly luncheon in Fort Worth for WW2 vets. I mentioned it in a post here: Connections to my Uncle Israel Goldberg. Turns out Mr. Long was Aviation Mechanic with the 19th Bombardment Group, stationed at Clark Field, Philippines, the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Just a little ways away serving in Headquarters section of the 24th Pursuit Squadron was my great-great uncle, Israel Goldberg. Both Israel and Mr. Long no doubt experienced the same shock of hearing the news about Pearl Harbor, followed by the awful attack on Clark Field. Our forces gave a stout defense, but to no avail, and in the end, the Philippines fell into the hands of the Japanese. Mr. Long managed to escape with some of his unit in late December, but our uncle was taken prisoner (along with 75,000 other American and Filipino defenders) and survived the Bataan Death March only to die in the Japanese POW Camp Cabantuan a few months later.
As I've said several times before, a life-long dream has been to meet and talk with one of the survivors of Bataan. For a while, it seemed like our friend Mr. Long would be the closest we would get to knowing and understanding what our uncle went through. That and reading books. Actually, over the years I was in contact with a few survivors' wives, but unfortunately, the veterans passed away shortly before we could meet. But after all that, it looks like this dream might finally come true as a few of the last survivors of Bataan plan on attending this memorable event. You can be sure we will have lots of stories and photos after the race. If you want to keep updated until then, you can follow us here: https://www.facebook.com/OperationMeatball.